The It Gets Better Project, through It Gets Better EDU, is proud to present Youth Voices – Pride 2020, a group of four exceptional young people who are partnering with our organization this Pride season to offer their unique stories and words of advice to other LGBTQ+ youth around the globe. They are students, artists, and activists who are working to change their communities for the better and who have empowering insights to lend to their LGBTQ+ peers.
Learn more about each of these Youth Voices below, and tune in to this year’s Digital Pride Experience to catch them in action.
- Age: 16
- Pronouns: They/Them
- Location: Near Mobile, AL
- Social Handle: @hammy (TikTok), @nuwlow (Instagram)
Hammy Hamilton is a nonbinary content creator, filmmaker and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. After gaining a following on TikTok, Hamilton helped organize @Gayburgerofficial, an internet collective for queer young people by queer young people. Their art, comedy and activism is making a difference around the world by utilizing the power of social media.
Hammy’s personal experience with social media has been nothing but positive and eye opening. As an African American TikToker, they’ve been able to meet so many amazing people from all over the world and make them laugh. In the future, Hammy hopes to be a forensic pathologist and to be the representation for kids they wish they’d had growing up.
- Age: 17
- Pronouns: She/Her
- Location: Near Los Angeles, CA
- Social Handle: @nhanditheproducer (Instagram), @prodbynhandi (Twitter)
Nhandi Craig is a DJ and music producer, as well as a current HRC Youth Ambassador. After being outed at age 11, Nhandi became an activist, creating her middle school’s first and only LGBTQ student organization. These efforts earned her the American Citizenship Award by Culver City. She later earned fame on “America’s Got Talent” and was asked to DJ for the Obamas at their annual Easter egg hunt at age 12.
Now, at just 17, Nhandi is using music to change hearts and minds and is the youngest iHeartRadio employee in the world, DJing a weekly show on Real 92.3fm. She is also involved in the LGBTQ+ alliance club at her high school, “Tolerance,” as the club’s treasurer. With her passion in music, she has earned the opportunity to speak on the Grammy X GLAAD panel with LGBTQ+ and ally music artists such as Dan Reynolds, Linda Perry, Asiahn, Shea Diamond and many others. Nhandi aims to pave paths for other Black women in the LGBTQ+ community both in the music industry and in society.
- Age: 16
- Pronouns: She/Her
- Location: Near Washington, D.C.
- Social Handle: @_uma.fox (Instagram)
Uma Fox is a human rights activist. After noticing the absence of LGBTQ+ representation in educational and policy spaces, she founded MoCo Pride, a nonprofit dedicated to giving LGBTQ+ students a voice in Maryland’s political and educational systems. The organization lobbied successfully for the creation of the United States’ first standardized LGBTQ+ studies class for high schoolers. Uma is now a student writer for the course’s curriculum. She has also worked to bring over 50 students to the Maryland State House to lobby their legislators for various student rights, including menstrual equity, transgender student protections, and increased educational funding.
As a biracial South-Asian American, Uma cares deeply about global human rights and intersectional LGBTQ+ education. Uma is passionate about fighting for international LGBTQ+ protections and making activism inclusive of the populations it impacts. She is a 2020-2022 United World College Davis Scholar, a program that brings together international student leaders in the name of dialogue, peace education, and advocacy. In the future, Uma hopes to fight for LGBTQ+, indigenous, and ethnic justice as a human rights lawyer. She is excited to be part of the It Gets Better Project’s 2020 Youth Voices of Pride 2020!
- Age: 16
- Pronouns: He/Him
- Location: Near Baltimore, MD
- Social Handle: @zachkoung (Instagram and Twitter)
Zach is an unapologetically politically involved rising high school senior. He continually advocates and works to pave a path for justice that includes all people. At school, he is involved with his Student Government Association, the Future Business Leaders of America CTSO, and various honor societies. Zach was recently elected as the Howard County Student Member of the Board of Education to serve nearly 60,000 students in his county and build an inclusive community for all. In the future, Zach wants to attend College for a Political Science degree and serve in public office.
To learn more about the work being done through It Gets Better EDU, visit itgetsbetter.org/EDU.